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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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336                                LIFE   OF
pointment in Berlin, which Hxmiboldt was endeavour-
ing to secure for him., but lie died shortly after his
return to Germany, in 181 2. An xinfinished oil-picture
—Christ as a youth., sleeping, and guarded by angels—
Madame von Humboldt was anxious to secure at any
price., but the family would not sell it. The third of
the artists they distinguished was Kauch. He came
to Home in 1805, and during six years was received
by them with affectionate hospitality. He made
some statues for the family during that time—namely,
"Mars, and Diomedes -wounded, and the statue of
a young girl, a daughter of Humboldt, which he sub-
sequently execLited in marble.
The country., its history, and the treasures contained
in the town and its vicinity, were also of the greatest
interest for Humboldt in his studies.    "What treasxires
are alone   contained  in the library of the "Vatican !
And how  many things Humboldt foxind here which
he would have sought in  vain elsewhere, and which
"were especially valuable for his extensive philological
studies, for which no one could offer more resoxirces than
the Propaganda of Rome.   Humboldt frequently enxi-
merates the works he met with in the extensive library
of the Collegio Romano.     He also collected American
grammars during his  Italian residence.     The inves-
tigations into  the   Coptic   language   were   in   vogue
just  then, and the well-known museum of Cardinal
Borgia, of Yelletri, offered materials for hieroglyphic
studies.     Indeed, the classic soil could not but afford
incalculable treasures to a mind which had from afar
already penetrated into its sanctuaries.
All this, however, only occupied his genius very
partially, and he was entirely without personal incite-
ment. ^ire cannot, therefore, wonder if we always
see him look back longingly to his German friends.
In this spirit he writes to Wolf, on the 20th July,
1805 : "The pleasure I should feel in accompanying
you here is beyond description. It would be, after
years, the first truly intellect-satisfying conversation.
The scientific society which can be had here is drv*